Manchester Evening News

Dating app predator wept over diagnosis

- By JOHN SCHEERHOUT

A PREDATORY paedophile wept behind bars when he learned a cancer diagnosis was terminal, a report has revealed.

Marc Harmer was initially refused release from prison on compassion­ate grounds, but that decision was later reviewed and he died in hospital in June last year. He was 56.

Harmer, then 55, was jailed for five years in October 2021 after he was convicted of a series of sex offences. He tried to meet children after grooming them on Grindr, Manchester Crown Court was told. Harmer also bragged to other likeminded deviants about having sex with a teenage boy.

By the time of his death last year, he became the 14th prisoner to die at privately-operated Forest Bank prison since June 2020. A report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) reveals Harmer was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2020, and had been receiving treatment from the oncology team at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.

He underwent chemothera­py at The Christie Hospital throughout 2021 and 2022, spending nights there during the chemothera­py cycles, according to the report.

When he was behind bars, he was kept in Forest Bank’s healthcare department from October 29, 2021. “He sometimes shared a cell, but as his cancer progressed, he moved to a single cell. Mr Harmer spent up to 18 hours a day sleeping,” said the PPO report.

On August 25, 2022, Harmer agreed that he did not want to be resuscitat­ed if his heart or breathing stopped and he signed a ‘Do Not Attempt CPR’ order.

The report went on: “On 17 November, a hospital doctor told Mr Harmer that his cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and was incurable.

All treatment from then on would be palliative to manage his symptoms.

“Mr Harmer was tearful on his return to Forest Bank and asked for staff to arrange a visit by his mother so he could break the news to her in person.”

The report said Harmer fell in his cell and was taken to Salford Royal Hospital under escort from two officers. By then his cancer had spread to his bones and he was receiving ‘palliative care’ only and was told by a nurse it was likely he only had six months to live, said the report. He was returned to the prison once well enough on May

20. The report said: “Mr Harmer was unhappy about returning to prison and said he wanted to go into a hospice near his mother’s home.”

He applied for ‘Release on Temporary Licence’ but the deputy director of the prison turned down his request ‘due to his level of risk and his offence

He died in the hospital on June

15.

 ?? ?? Marc Harmer
Marc Harmer

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